620 camera with good lens needed
I need a recommendation for a camera using 620-format film. I just bought some 620-format film from the 70s just for the heck of it. I guess normally people first buy camera and then appropriate film for it :-) In case of 620 getting a camera is the easy part so I went the other way around. I will respool those spools later on with something more modern.
There were millions of cheap 620-cameras made but I want a good one. It should have a good lens, shutter and aperture. I see that many cameras have only have one shutter speed and 2-3 apertures. I would like have little more sophistication. Is that too much to ask?
What are my options?
Kodak Tourist II is one such animal. But there were various models. They can be found with good, Tesser type lenses and plenty of fstop range and shutter speeds.
There are also German and Japanese folders that took 620 film.
This guy has a good reputation: http://www.certo6.com/index.html
I got a Bower-X with a Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 105mm f4.5, which does 6x9 with 620 film for $3 via Craig's List. It's quite nice, has 4 shutter speeds (B, 1/25, 1/75, 1/200), and aperture from f4.5 to f22. It doesn't have a rangefinder so you'd need to guesstimate or use and external distance meter. I'd recommend it, but it is the only 620 camera I have :lol:
The Kodak Medalist was an outstanding professional-quality RF 6x9 camera which, for reasons known only to the geniuses at Kodak design, they designed to take 620 film.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Medalist, if it could be found, would be my top choice. Tourist II with the 4 element lens my 2nd choice.
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Medalist II with the legendary 100/3.5 Ektar (coated Heliar-type).
I think 620 was an application of the Gillette theory of marketing--a ploy to lock customers into purchasing Kodak film-- though unlike the safety razor, the camera wasn't cheap, at least not the Medalist.
Several good options. Thank you. Some Medalists, lots of Tourists and no Bowers at the auction site. Shipping costs to Europe however are quite high so I need investigate little more.
Yesterday I found a 620-format Bessa from fleabay with a price tag of 250USD. According to the seller that is priced to sell. Made me wonder if stepping to 620 was a bad move and that good cameras aren't that cheap. Sure is pretty (item #220476234464) and today it's on sale 210USD.
I suspect that good high spec 620 cameras are quite rare - and therefore might command a price tage above and beyond what a 120 version of something similar would get because of collector interest. Useability doesn't seem to bother collectors...
Originally Posted by verney
I've just had a play with 620. In my case someone gave me a cheapo budget camera, a Kodak 620 Junior, as a present. It has a primitive but interesting 'Twindar' lens. This apparently was designed to be as cheap as possible as it doesn't use any expensive optical glass but is basically a pair of simple meniscus lenses with a stop, although the front one has an extra focussing element.
I rewound a 120 film onto a home made 620 spool to try it out. My experience is that rewinding 620 is harder than you think. It sounds easy... but it is difficult to keep the film and backing in step - I ended up with a 'bubble' of film just before the tape, so had to remove and re-tape. Not very hard, but a bit more fiddly (in the dark) than I was led to believe. This meant my film was now slightly out of register with the numbers, so I chopped the end off one frame. I also seemed to get a lot of dust, a few stress mark and the odd finger print on the film. All stuff that could be sorted out, I suppose, after a few attempts - but it wasn't plain sailing.
Personally I wouldn't want to be saddled with the hassle of rewinding films all the time for more serious use. One off to try out the lens was worthwhile, but I doubt I'll do it again.
(BTW the lens seemed to perform adequately well - contrast and resolution are both a little soft but with excellent coverage to the edges of the 6 X 9, with little light fall off. The camera itself was awful because it has no proper viewfinder but relies on a tiny little 90 degree 'brilliant finder' only, so that one can go into the display cabinet!)
The bizarre thing for me with 620 is that the reduction in size is so small as to be negligable, it really doesn't make the cameras appreciably smaller - barely a few millimetres. I'll go with Dave's theory... a marketing ploy.
Any comments on Kodak Duo 620?
That Bessa is haunting me but I'm no collector. Maybe I get 120-format Bessa one day.
I think those Kodak marketing 'geniuses' only wanted Kodak 620 film to be used in their cameras!
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.